78644 podcast highlights artists in Lockhart
By Kyle Mooty
Artists from different genres are benefitting from Lockhart’s one-of-a-kind podcast that highlights them and their appearances around town, whether they are playing music at local venues or showing off their art at local galleries.
Steven and Kate Collins are into their sixth episode of 78644, the name of the podcast and an easy to remember title since it is Lockhart’s zip code.
Steve Collins credits his wife, Kate, with the original idea.
“I think it came about because there was a lot going on at art galleries’ shows and it was hard to find out what was happening, and we would often find out after the fact,” Steven Collins said. “She said, ‘Why don’t we do something since we have the ability to do this a podcast show that focuses on all of these things?’
“There were several First Fridays where there was so much going on that we didn’t know about.”
The podcast began in October in time for Halloween and some local ghost stories. Tammy Francis of Gaslight-Baker Theatre told some of the tales from that building, while Kara McGregor did likewise from her home known as the Birdie House.
There were other guests, as there were on the second episode featuring the group Quemazón, which played the song “Fantasma” regarding a story relayed by a band member of the Weeping Lady story in Lockhart. Also, musician Natalie Robbins did an in-studio performance of “Vampire Cowgirl.” Austin artist Camille Woods discussed her painted pieces of art to be shown at Commerce Gallery.
The first two episodes of 78644 are free, but the Collins are asking for a small fee to hear further episodes as they are trying to get sponsors for the show to help artists.
“The podcast, if we’re doing well enough, can supplement their guarantee if they come to town,” Steven Collins said. “There’s no inflation adjustment for musicians. We’re trying to help that out. Also, if people are coming for see the barbecue festival or just staying at an Airbnb, they can listen to us and take it with them. We want to grow it organically. The goal is to get enough sponsors both locally and regionally to subsidize the musicians when they come into Lockhart. We want Lockhart to be known as a musician friendly and artist friendly town.”
Collins said people from out of town visiting Lockhart can tune in to see what’s going to be taking place, “because there’s a lot.”
Usually, a song or two is played on the show, versions that can only be heard on the podcast, said Collins, a member of the band Deadman.
“We will usually have one or two musicians on the show, and we’ll have an artist come in that’s going to be at one of the galleries,” Collins said. “It’s filled in with people to tell local flavor in stories. I had a project with my friend Scott Davis, who is playing in town, so we were on the show talking about our friendship. He was my roommate when I first moved down here. He went on to work for all kinds of great people — Hayes Carll and others.
“We have a loose theme going on, but we also have a humor section called Eye in the Sky, more local humor. Will Rhodes and I worked on that. The Eye in the Sky is kind of like a helicopter that flies around and tells you the traffic report in Lockhart. We make it up. Some of the show is fictional and some is anecdotal.”
One such treat were the makers of Alpengold Brandy near Luling, a fruit brandy Collins said was “like the best in the world.”
“Kate has the production schedule,” Steven Collins said. “I record it. I do the audio and she lines up the talent for each episode.”
Each episode of 78644 is about 45 minutes and there are two per month.
“Subscribers would get access to recordings that aren’t on the show, something special for subscribers to have,” Steve Collins said. “We want Lockhart to be a place to see really great music and to have a really good experience with that. If artists know they can come here, be treated well and get a good guarantee, they will come back.”
The introduction to the 78644 podcast notes that Lockhart “has become a haven for musicians, artists and the best kind of weirdos. Some were born here and some got on 183 and headed south as fast as they could. This is a podcast that will celebrate the growing talent in this town and beyond and tell you where they are playing next. Whether you are a local, transplant, or just need a soundtrack to go with your brisket, all our welcome.”